Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has fired back at Giorgio Chiellini after the Juventus skipper claimed “alcohol was a weakness” for his former teammate in comments made in his new autobiography.
Chilean midfield general Vidal and defensive stalwart Chiellini helped Juve to four Serie A crowns between 2011 and 2015, but the Italian drew anger from his erstwhile teammate for comments made in his new book, ‘Io Giorgio’, in which he discussed Vidal’s party lifestyle.
“Someone like Vidal sometimes went out and drank more than they should’ve. Everyone knew it. It can be said that alcohol was a bit of a weakness for him,” the 35-year-old wrote.
“However, that doesn’t put into question whether he is a champion or what type of person he is.
“Weaknesses are part of human nature. What matters are the consequences they can have on a squad.
“The great Arturo didn’t show up for training a couple of times a year or, when he did, let’s say he was rather merry.
“However, he never slacked. On the contrary, I think that sometimes, certain ways of being can make you stronger.”
Vidal – who moved on from Turin for a spell at Bayern Munich before joining Barcelona in 2018 – responded by warning Chiellini that there were “codes” between players that should not be breached.
“People have focused on the worst things Chiellini said,” Vidal said in an Instagram Live chat, as reported by Football-Italia.
“And I don’t see why one should mention those things, it annoyed me, but he said I was a champion too.
“It wasn’t something I couldn’t do. I was allowed to go out. I’m a human being like everyone else.
“I work hard and if my friends meet for a BBQ, with the club’s permission, I’ll go too.
“If I have to stay focused, I do it. But when it’s my turn to have fun, I take advantage of it.
“I’m just like the others. And when I made a mistake, I paid and stood up,” he added.
“In football there are codes.”
Vidal is not the only one with an axe to grind over Chiellini’s autobiography.
Former Italy teammate Mario Balotelli was angered after the defender claimed he was “a negative person with no respect for the team.”
“At least I have the sincerity and courage to say things face to face,” Balotelli wrote on his Instagram Stories.
“You’ve had plenty of opportunities since 2013 to behave like a real man but you didn’t.”
The pair later reconciled on Italian TV however, with Chiellini saying he had “made a mistake” and eccentric striker Balotelli telling him he “still loves him.”